Coughing up mucus or phlegm is fairly common. Unless it lasts a long time, we rarely pay much attention to it. But, if you cough up mucus that is colored, it might be a sign of a more serious ailment. Consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Why Do We Cough Up Mucus?
Phlegm or mucus is a watery, viscous substance produced by our trachea (windpipe.) It normally keeps our throat and nose lubricated
When we have an infection or some type of disorder, mucus starts getting thicker and accumulating in our throat. This irritates the windpipe and causes us to cough to get rid of it.
We normally start coughing up clear phlegm if we have some small health ailment. Clear mucus means that there is no pus.
Once your mucus turn yellow, green or brown, you probably have a more serious problem and should see your doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your yellow, green or brown mucus is caused by an infection, smoking, or air pollution.
Coughing Up Yellow Mucus
There is a range of conditions that can turn your mucus yellow:
- The common cold
- Cystic fibrosis
Any of these conditions can cause an inflammation of your respiratory tract. Inflammation leads to an accumulation of white blood cells in your mucus. That’s what turns it yellow.
If you tell your doctor that you are coughing up yellow mucus, he will most likely tell you that you have an infection and will give you antibiotics. The problem with that is that viral infection like common cold cannot be treated with antibiotics.
If you are coughing up yellow mucus, look for other symptoms to find out what might be causing it. The best option is to talk to your doctor and let the experts give their opinion.
Coughing Up Brown Mucus
If you are a smoker, coughing up brown mucus should be familiar to you. It could even be part of your morning routine.
Heavy air pollution can also cause your mucus to turn brownish.
Bacterial infections often cause mucus to turn greenish-brown.
But, mucus might look brown if it contains blood particles.
In any case, unless you are a smoker, if you are coughing brown mucus, go see your doctor. Blood in mucus is a sign of a serious lung infection.
The only way to get rid of yellow or brown mucus is to cure the underlying cause. Once your doctor gives you a proper diagnosis and the right treatment, it should only be a matter of time until you feel better.